Although we’ve been engaging with other user groups, landowners and countryside managers for several years now, there’s always been a question of how representative Ride Calderdale is, and whether we’re actually reflecting the views of mountain bikers using the area.
Part of this stemmed from the fact that no-one had carried out a comprehensive piece of work to talk to people who cycle off-road and find out where and how they ride, what concerns they have, what they value about the area, and what they’d do to improve it for cycling.
Earlier in 2022 we got the opportunity to do this as part of an off-road cycling working group hosted by Blackshaw Parish Council. The group is made up of representatives of parish and town councils, rights of way volunteers and other user groups, including us. Together we designed a survey and Ride Calderdale helped promote it.
The survey ran for the first quarter of 2022 and got an incredible response, with over 400 mountain bikers joining in to have their say. We’ve finally got round to analysing all these responses and writing it up, and the finished version is now online.
We’d urge you to read the survey report in full, but safe to say it highlights many of the issues we’ve been campaigning on, from the limitations of the local rights of way network, to the lack of dedicated facilities for mountain biking. And it also sets out some great suggestions for how we can improve things.